Hearthstone Clydesdale or BK Princess?

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Glen007

Member
Jan 31, 2017
11
Upstate, NY
Hi all,

I've narrowed my search for an insert to either the Clydesdale or the Princess. I've called around to several nearby retailers and they are both similarly priced. I've done a general spec comparison but I'd love to hear some feedback on advantages/disadvantages of these stoves. Of note, this will be my first insert. I have natural gas for our furnace but was looking to have a decent supplementary heat source. The location of the insert will be at the far end of a large 3,000 sq/ft ranch house. Thanks in advance for any input.

-Glen
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,178
Sand Lake, NY
I like loading 16" splits front to back. I don't think the Clydesdale can do this. Don't know about the Princess.
 

Xtrl9

New Member
Jan 14, 2016
94
Va
I have a Clydesdale and though I haven't had it long I can say its the best stove I've ever operated much less owned. Soapstone stoves like the Clydesdale are not going to be "fire it up and get the heat cranking in a hurry" but like others will say its a "soft" heat, kinda low and slow, which really fits with what I was after. I wanted to be able to heat the mainfloor living area and my bedroom which is up an open staircase from the insert and have it warm all night instead of the 4 or less hours I could get from a nonEPA smoker. I have no complaints about my Clydesdale but I also waffled back and forth between a princess but what won out for me is I work 5 minutes from a dealer for HS and the BK dealer is over an hour out. I also didn't want to deal with a Cat to replace every 2-3 years.

Putting the insert in one end of a 3000 sq.ft house will probably not provide even heat for the whole area, even if you tried moving the air around with fans.
 

rwhite

Minister of Fire
Nov 8, 2011
1,922
North Central Idaho
Here are my thoughts on my BK;
1. If you want to mimic the aesthetics of an open fire place the BK is not the one. The normal burn is just a dark smolder.
2. The BK may burn twice as long but it probably holds twice as much wood as well.

No experience with the Clydesdale so I can only compare to previous tube stoves I owned. Don't get me wrong, I love mine but there are a lot prettier stoves out there. I love the twice/day loading schedule and it heats 100% of my 1800 sqft ranch. But every stoves has pros and cons. You have to decide what your biggest needs are.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,015
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Princess for sure. Longer actual fire beats "heat life" every time.

Don't be afraid of the cat, it is warrantied for 10 years from BK and replacement is a 2 minute deal with just a screwdriver to pry the old one out into the firebox right by the door. New cats are 186$ and are rated to last 12000 hours of burning which for some is 3 years and for others is a lifetime!

The clyde will have a prettier fire view for sure.
 
Jan 3, 2017
122
South East
I also didn't want to deal with a Cat to replace every 2-3 years.
Unless you abuse the cat, you do not replace it every 2 or 3 years. Mine is 4 years old and I was not gentle with it the first few years. I burned a lot of greenish wood. Now I know better. And I have a new cat waiting in the wings but do not need to use it yet..
 

mstoelton

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
486
SE michigan
I have 2 Hearthstone Clydesdales. One in my basement and the other in my living room directly above. I enjoy the Clydedales and they provide essentially all of our heat with gas as a back-up. We have a smaller ranch style house of ~1700 square feet on each floor. We move the heat around the house with a combination of ceiling fans and small floor fans.

Last night the temperature was ~19 outside, but it was between 75-80 in the house with both Clydesdales running at a less that full output.

There are a few things about the Clydesdale that are unique.

The Clyde is somewhat adjustable for how far the insert sticks out of the fireplace. There is about 4-5 inches of adjustment that is available. I have both of mine nearly flush to the front of the fireplace. This minimizes the length of the hearth protection necessary. The BK princess sticks out several inches due to the shape and will likely require a hearth extension of some sort.

The fans on the Clydesdale are really powerful and can blast out the heat if you need it, but as others have said the soapstone lining can delay the delivery of heat to the home somewhat, but this is offset by a longer and less sharp temperature spike from the stove. I run the fans at a low setting most of the time.

The hearthstone is a wood hungry stove, and while I love the Clydesdales, the experience of others on the forum suggests that the BK Princess may be more of a wood miser that the Clydesdale.

I do not believe the Princess is capable of as much heat output as the Clydesdale (80,000 BTU for the Clyde and I think 60,000 for the Pricess).

My first year with the Clydesdales was a learning experience, mostly about how less that ideal wood does not heat well. Once I secured adequate dry seasoned wood the learning curve was improved.

I can tell you that the Clydesdales have eliminated the heating part of the gas bill. The last two years I have not turned on my furnace other that when I was on vacation and away from home.

I have not had any serious issues with either Clydesdale. I have had to replace door gasket on both and a door latch on one because I put it back together wrong and it broke as a result. The door latch was $95 (not cheap).

I also installed both of the Clydesdales myself with the help of my son. The weigh in at over 500 lbs - not fun to move around.

Both of the Clydesdales are installed with 6 inch diameter insulated stainless steel flue liners. Both have easy access hinged rain caps. Both were installed with block-off plates made of sheet metal that I cut and fabricated by hand.

If/when you put in an insert, a block-off plate is an absolute necessary addition and one that most installers will balk at installing. I could not find an installer willing to put in a block-off plate so I installed myself..
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,015
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Not if it's a smolder putting out the heat of a candle and clogging your cap.....just sayin.

You are maybe trying to be funny but a candle makes 150 btu per hour and the BK on low is about 15000 btu per hour for 20-30 hours per load (20 in the insert). So the BK on low puts out the heat of 100 candles which is equal to a 4600 watt electric heater. That's a lot of heat. I wish it could go lower!

Plenty of heat for the entire long burn. You should try a real cat stove some day, Woodstock makes some too but no inserts.
 
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Glen007

Member
Jan 31, 2017
11
Upstate, NY
Thank you all so much for the feedback. This thread definitely points out the exact reason why I have been flip-flopping on these two stoves. From what I have read, the Princess is one of the best combo's of max efficiency and ease of use, while the Clyde is one of the best combo's of elegant/natural fireplace looks and overall heat production. I have a feeling that when I go to the dealers this weekend I'll be leaning towards the Clyde based on looks, but want to make sure I'm not going to regret the decision. There was a thread I read yesterday on Hearth.com that was titled something like, "what do you have now and what do you wish you could get." Nobody posted that they had a Clyde but wished they had bought a Princess, but the Princess was the stove that most people had wished they bought.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
Not if it's a smolder putting out the heat of a candle and clogging your cap.....just sayin.
Well that sure ain't happening with a BK. It's ability to burn very slow is unlike other stoves, it can do it very very cleanly.
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
Here are my thoughts on my BK;
1. If you want to mimic the aesthetics of an open fire place the BK is not the one. The normal burn is just a dark smolder.
2. The BK may burn twice as long but it probably holds twice as much wood as well.

No experience with the Clydesdale so I can only compare to previous tube stoves I owned. Don't get me wrong, I love mine but there are a lot prettier stoves out there. I love the twice/day loading schedule and it heats 100% of my 1800 sqft ranch. But every stoves has pros and cons. You have to decide what your biggest needs are.
I think the princess has a 2.85 cubic foot box and Clydesdale is very near 3 cubic feet. The boxes are very comparable in size, but the princess is way easier to load up. North or south and a lot of room below the door which is nice.

The Clydesdale is a looker and heats pretty well from what I've seen. It's beautiful in enamel! Just be careful, if you open the door all the way it chips the stove, and if the door isn't adjusted properly it will rub the ash lip and chip it. There's only about 1/8" of clearance there, any debris on the ash lip must be removed before you can close the door. A little ash will let the door pass, that's all though. The handle is much better than the other Hstone stoves, that's a big improvement.
 

gregbesia

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2009
360
central CT
I am no expert, but for 3000 sq ft in upstate NY I would be looking for the biggest insert that I could fit. Be advised that inserts that only allow E-W loading can't really be loaded to their full potential. Take your time and do your research.
 

Xtrl9

New Member
Jan 14, 2016
94
Va
Thank you all so much for the feedback. This thread definitely points out the exact reason why I have been flip-flopping on these two stoves. From what I have read, the Princess is one of the best combo's of max efficiency and ease of use, while the Clyde is one of the best combo's of elegant/natural fireplace looks and overall heat production. I have a feeling that when I go to the dealers this weekend I'll be leaning towards the Clyde based on looks, but want to make sure I'm not going to regret the decision. There was a thread I read yesterday on Hearth.com that was titled something like, "what do you have now and what do you wish you could get." Nobody posted that they had a Clyde but wished they had bought a Princess, but the Princess was the stove that most people had wished they bought.

Actually I posted something similar what you are saying! I do have a Clyde but if I had to do it over again (as I ended up having to drive out to my dealer's warehouse to pick up my stove or pay 300 bucks for a liftgate truck to bring it to my house) I would have driven an hour the other way and got a BK based on the hype on here. I'm not disappointed my in decision (I do love watching the secondaries go while I'm warming up or drying off in front of the insert...but those BURN TIME CLAIMS! and 10 year cat warranty that I didn't know about would have swayed me. I don't think there's a bad choice between the two. I have to agree on the E-W counter point as well I don't think I have ever seen a log not pressed up on the glass on any E-W loader. In addition that I'm cautioning you that if you do try to jam too much wood in you can damage the stove's baffle or tubes. GAAH DURN naysayers are making me question myself again!
 

tarzan

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2014
1,552
wv
I think the princess has a 2.85 cubic foot box and Clydesdale is very near 3 cubic feet. The boxes are very comparable in size, but the princess is way easier to load up. North or south and a lot of room below the door which is nice.

The Clydesdale is a looker and heats pretty well from what I've seen. It's beautiful in enamel! Just be careful, if you open the door all the way it chips the stove, and if the door isn't adjusted properly it will rub the ash lip and chip it. There's only about 1/8" of clearance there, any debris on the ash lip must be removed before you can close the door. A little ash will let the door pass, that's all though. The handle is much better than the other Hstone stoves, that's a big improvement.

In all fairness the Princess stove is 2.85CF but the insert is listed as being a little smaller. 2.5 I think?
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
In all fairness the Princess stove is 2.85CF but the insert is listed as being a little smaller. 2.5 I think?
You are correct. I just looked, its advertised as 2.4
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,285
Southern IN
I'd love to hear some feedback on advantages/disadvantages of these stoves.
C'mon, he asked for disadvantages....where's the dirt?!! ;) I had no idea the Clyde was a cast iron fire box. Does that mean it has seams that can develop leaks, necessitating a rebuild? I think I would want a welded plate-steel box. And the Princess...doesn't that have some kind of clown-like cable system operating the bypass that can break, or did they fix that? Just askin' a couple questions... ==c
 

rwhite

Minister of Fire
Nov 8, 2011
1,922
North Central Idaho
You are correct. I just looked, its advertised as 2.4
I know my previous insert was listed as 1.8cuft. I could get no where near 1/2 the wood that my Princess holds. Stove math is similar to tent math (ever try to get 4 people in a 4 man tent?). I don't know how much of the clydes space is usable. I know I've seen some Inserts that are very wide but not much depth. Seems like loading E/W cuts your capacity quite a bit as well.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,015
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
You are correct. I just looked, its advertised as 2.4

It's weird, the brochure now says 2.5 cubic feet and burn time is 27 hours and something like 12,500 btu output on low. I don't know many Princess Insert owners that can get 27 hours though. Efficiency is 80% HHV compared to something dismall from the Clyde.

To be clear to the OP, you can burn the princess insert hot and get flames and prettiness. You will be doing that once a day at least when you reload and get the new load roaring. It's not totally black, always at least a red glow somewhere in there.

We haven't even mentioned the "other" BK insert, the much more aesthetically pleasing one.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,015
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I know my previous insert was listed as 1.8cuft. I could get no where near 1/2 the wood that my Princess holds. Stove math is similar to tent math (ever try to get 4 people in a 4 man tent?). I don't know how much of the clydes space is usable. I know I've seen some Inserts that are very wide but not much depth. Seems like loading E/W cuts your capacity quite a bit as well.

Hearthstones are famous for way overestimating their firebox size. My heritage was supposed to be 2.3 CF but measured well below 2. That's like a 20% cut!

E/W loading sucks.
 

rwhite

Minister of Fire
Nov 8, 2011
1,922
North Central Idaho
Just a WAG, but I imagine your overall usage will be fairly similar (maybe a bit less with a BK) but it's a matter of loading 1-2 times a day vs 2-3. Although when you burn for maximum hrs on the BK the fire show is non existent.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
C'mon, he asked for disadvantages....where's the dirt?!! ;) I had no idea the Clyde was a cast iron fire box. Does that mean it has seams that can develop leaks, necessitating a rebuild? I think I would want a welded plate-steel box. And the Princess...doesn't that have some kind of clown-like cable system operating the bypass that can break, or did they fix that? Just askin' a couple questions... ==c
I'm pretty sure the joints are all gasketed rather than cemented.

The princess does use a cable and they have done some upgrading. Out of several dozen stoves we've sold since the stove came out, we've had 2 with cable issues. Both were about 4 years ago. One was bound up right out of the box and the cable broke. The other one had a loose set screw and came apart after a short time of use. We replaced them both and haven't had an issue since.
 
Jan 3, 2017
122
South East
You are maybe trying to be funny but a candle makes 150 btu per hour and the BK on low is about 15000 btu per hour for 20-30 hours per load (20 in the insert). So the BK on low puts out the heat of 100 candles which is equal to a 4600 watt electric heater. That's a lot of heat. I wish it could go lower!

Plenty of heat for the entire long burn. You should try a real cat stove some day, Woodstock makes some too but no inserts.
My point is that 20 - 30 hour burns are NOT the 'be all and end all' to the majority of wood burning folks. I know it is the most important thing for BK peeps, but that is not the majority of us. That's all I'm sayin.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,178
Sand Lake, NY
As an owner of a tube stove, it would be nice to have a more even heat output, rather than the peaks and valleys.